tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 8, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
the country. but just amazing images once again coming into us from the university of hartford there in connecticut. well, as i was saying, tonight the political spotlight shifts to washington and president obama. his joint speech to congress may be one of the administration's final chances in his term to present an economic policy that will resinate with voters and spur national job growth. republican leaders have already voiced their concerns. >> the american people shouldn't be forced to watch some politician they don't want to listen to. and frankly most of them would rather watch a football game. what is surprising is the president's apparent determination to apply the same government-driven policies that have already been tried and failed. the definition of insanity, albert einstein once famously put it is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. >> who doesn't love that
einstein quote? i know i do. >> reporter: and who doesn't love football, thomas? >> i know. who doesn't love football? we have a live report coming from the field this hour. but let's talk about the big night for the white house. it is going to be interesting to see exactly what the president says tonight. but what should we be looking for? >> reporter: well, first of all, we're going to see if that chamber is as full as john boehner thinks it is going to be or not going to be. just a handful say they're not going to be in attendance. they feel as though they're props in a political theater. but the president and the white house, we know, we've seen drips and drabs of what the president is going to propose. they've largely kept it close to the vest. what we do know is he's going to be asking for the congress to extend that payroll tax cut in effect all throughout this year and expires at the end of this year. and many people feel as though republicans might get onboard for that infrastructure investments. we've talked about traditional road and bridge projects. aid for state and local
governments as they are cash-strapped and laying off people unable to pay out medicaid payments in many circumstances. and job training for the unemployed, thomas. >> mike viqueira, thank you so much. minnesota congressman keith ellison is the co-chairman of the progressive caucus and is joining me now. you've seen parts of the president's plan as the co-chairman of the progressive caucus. is the president taking the stand necessary to make a real dent in the jobs crisis? because we keep hearing the words bold, big, urgent, comprehensive. is it really going to live up to what we're all expecting? >> i certainly hope so. and i also think so. from what i've seen of the president's job proposal so far, he is headed absolutely in the right direction. the only open question in my mind, is it bold enough and big enough? i have a jobs plan right now that calls for $350 billion to put into direct job creation, helping state and local governments. but i also think we need another
$25 billion to fund the national infrastructure bank bill. i hope it's at least about $375 billion. it's going to need to be at least that to make the dent i think we need. the republicans haven't put up anything. they're full of criticism, but not full of any sort of proposals or good suggestions. they're just full of criticism. and i think it would be a national disaster and a shame if at 9.1% unemployment the republicans find something better to do than to attend the president's address on creating jobs. this is not political theater, this is people need jobs. >> i want to talk more about that in a second. but i want to get to this, this new gallup poll showing his approval rating is slipping among whites, hispanics. is there anything he can say tonight to turn these numbers around? >> well, i think his proposal is going to be part of it. signaling what he wants to do is part of it. but then really putting his shoulder to the wheel to drive
that unemployment number down. so that people really do feel that they're working again and their neighbors are working again. that's what it's all about. people like barack obama. they like the president, but they don't like being unemployed and don't like being broke. this is the real issue. it's going to be a results oriented thing. i think it starts with a great speech, but really can be fulfilled with excellent follow through and real drive and determination on the president's part. >> congressman, as you've said, you've released your own emergency jobs plan. i think if i heard you correctly, up to $350 million. there's some expectation, some inkling -- >> billion. >> excuse me. that the president may launch something tonight upwards of $400 billion. is that the territory we need to be in to really make the difference needed to get consumer confidence? get american confidence back on the road map to success? >> yes, that's the right neighborhood. we need to put people back to work on state and local jobs, some teachers, fire, people like that, cops.
but we also need to make sure the people who are not high-skilled also have opportunity. so we need to have -- i think we need a direct jobs government jobs program like wpa, you know, works progress authority, or cpc camp to get americans back working again just like generations ago the government responded to put americans working again during the roosevelt era. >> congressman keith ellison, thank you, sir, we're going to let you get back to work. and i want to give everybody a programming note of obama's address to congress begins right here on msnbc at 7:00 p.m. eastern. so the stars were out for the gop last night in the top contenders in the 2012 field. they took the gloves off in front of a national audience. the stage was set for an exciting debate. rick perry going toe-to-toe with a sharp mitt romney. >> states are different. texas is a great state. texas has zero income tax. texas has a right to work state,
a republican legislature, a republican supreme court. texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. those are wonderful things, but governor perry doesn't believe he created those things. if he tried to say that, it'd be like al gore saying he invented the internet. >> michael dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, mitt. >> well, as a matter of fact george bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did. >> perry stance on social security also sparked fireworks. >> it is a ponzi scheme. to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today you're paying into a program that's going to be there. >> our nominee has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing social security, but is committed to saving social security. >> you cannot keep the status quo in place and not call anything other than a ponzi scheme. it is. that is what it is. americans know that. and regardless of what anyone
says, oh, it's not and that's provocative language. maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country. >> politico joins me to talk about this. most saying romney had the best performance of the night. but perry had a strong, strong showing. did he do enough to close the gap? romney, that is, with perry? >> well, probably not yet. i think rick perry won the battle, but might have wounded himself for the war to come. that statement that rick perry made on the ponzi scheme in calling that social security is really being jumped on by mitt romney's folks today. his advisers saying that makes rick perry unelectable for the general election that no federal candidate can call social security a ponzi scheme and win an election against president obama. that's the dividing line coming out of this debate today. >> david, huntsman finally let his presence be known talking
about pledges and the gop. take a listen. >> i'd love to get everybody to sign a pledge to take no pledges. i have a pledge to my wife and i pledge allegiance to my country, and beyond that, no pledges. i think it diminishes the political discussion. i think it jeopardizes your ability to lead once you get there. >> so he is behind in the polls, but it's about the tb ground game coming up for new hampshire and south carolina, isn't it? >> the problem is jon huntsman is trying to rise above it all, be the adult in the room, have perry and romney sort of squabbling at each other and rise above it. but the problem, the reason perry has shot up in the polls is because his in your face, unapologetic rhetoric is what's resinating with voters. last night when rick perry talked about executions in the state of texas, you know, there was applause in the room that you could hear basically people applauding the executions that he is order in that state. it's hard to see how huntsman is
able to find a space right now in that field. >> david, when we talk about michele bauchmann, how long can her campaign continue to run on the steam that it got out of iowa? >> it's very striking because she really evaporated from the debate last night. you know, she had great performances in earlier debates. a month ago she came out with the win in the ames, iowa, straw poll. but since then, she has failed to capitalize on that momentum and it really goes back to what rick perry has been able to do, suck a lot of that tea party, hard right support away from her. she really needs a moment in order to pick up traction. she's falling in the polls even behind ron paul in some of these national polling. >> david, thanks so much. nice to see you this morning. >> thank you. i want to take you back to that breaking news we brought you at the top of this hour. flash flooding a cross the northeast caused by lingering rain from tropical storm lee is flooding roads. these pictures showing submerged
cars in a parking lot in connecticut. and there are forced evacuations in parts of pennsylvania today where three people have been killed by rising waters. a mandatory evacuation affecting 65,000 residents is in effect for the northeastern part of the state. lee's rain swath is covering over a dozen states from the louisiana coast to new england. as of this morning, rainfall amounts of over 10 inches were tallied in seven states. the weather channel's chris warren has more now from binghamton, new york, where evacuations have been ordered in neighborhoods near the susquehanna river. >> reporter: by mid-morning here in binghamton, the word is, town is closed. police are not letting anybody into town either on foot or in their car. in fact, the only traffic now are cars heading out of town. the reason for this, by mid-morning, it looks imminent that we are going to see water start to go over the flood wall. if you look closely, you can only see a few inches left of that flood wall.
and it takes just another couple of inches. some of these waves getting to the top. a few more inches, it's going to go over. unfortunately, we could have another foot to go before this river starts to head back down. so even though the rain is stopped, at least for now, that water is still rising. and it could be rising right into the afternoon. we could be dealing with historic flooding. in fact, that is what the forecast is calling for. even worse, the flooding here, the record flooding of 2006. >> that's chris warren. thank you so much. we're going to continue to watch the storm system for you right here on msnbc. and in addition to the heavy rains, we're also closely watching the paths of tropical storms maria, nate, and hurricane katia. the three active weather systems are churning over water now and could be prove to be problematic. nate may strengthen into a hurricane within several days. we'll have more from the weather channel on all of this coming up
in the next half hour. several republicans plan to be no-shows at the president's address to congress tonight. how long will the gop play hardball? or will some republican leaders try a kinder, gentler approach? we're going to talk with republican congressman aaron shock of illinois. and inside the president's bunker on 9/11. we've heard from family members, survivors, and first responders, now hear from a man who saw the president's cabinet in action and up close the day america suffered its worst attack. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day
democrats are not going to agree on everything. but i do think that the people of my district and this country expect the fact that we're not going to let those differences get in the way of coming together for common sense solutions. >> republican congressman is a member of the house ways and means committee and joins me now this morning. congressman, nice to see you. you've seen bits and pieces of what is to be expected of the president this evening. and we know there'll be no formal republican response. with no response, how is the american public supposed to interpret the right's willingness to work with the president moving forward? >> reporter: well, thomas, thanks for having me on. we had a meeting this morning with the 240-plus republican members of congress. and you'll hear some people out on the fringes who are continuing to lob bombs back and forth. i think the lion share of our conference together we want to work with the president to try to find a way to put americans
back to work. we're genuine in that interest. and we've tried to work the last seven months in doing that. we've passed over 200 bills. they don't cost money, getting the government out of the way of the private sector and allowing the job creators, the entrepreneurs to grow and employ people. unfortunately, they're stuck in the senate. with respect to the president's speech tonight, let's back up a couple of weeks if we can. the president finished his three-day bus tour in may hometown of peoria, illinois. and he boarded air force one and flew back to d.c. and said give me a couple of weeks, wait until after labor day, and i will come out with a jobs bill, a jobs plan to help put americans back to work. and we're now starting to learn the details of that jobs plan. and many of the sentiment here, much of the sentiment here in washington, d.c. and back home in my district among democrats and republicans leaves people scratching their heads. much of what's in this $300 billion jobs plan as the
president's calling it is more of the same. continuing unemployment benefits for 99 weeks, continuing the payroll tax deduction. these things have been in place for over two years. and while they're not bad things, the idea that this is a lion share of what the president wants to spend money on in his speech tonight is just continuation of policy that has been supported by republicans and democrats, that is the standard law of the land right now is somehow going to be the new policy or the new initiative or the jobs plan that's going to get americans working again. >> but what is the republican side offering? especially if you have people like congressman walsh who is from your state saying he's not going. he's going to hold his own town hall where he wants to interact with people. when you have people like that that have a vote, that have sway on the hill. what is that sending to the american people? because there is a stalemate within this country. and you have to agree with that. the fact that every time that president obama comes forth with something, the right says no.
>> well, that's not exactly true, thomas. the reality is that the president hasn't come forward with much in terms of legislation. i think what congressman walsh and others here are frustrated by is we don't need another speech, don't need more grand standing. what we want is a plan and a proposal. and what i'm hopeful is that when he's done with his speech tonight, he submits to congress in writing an actual bill that congress can debate and vote up or down. that's how you get things done in this town in washington, d.c. with regards to what republicans have offered, as i said earlier, we've offered over 200 bills, not just offered, but passed with republicans and democrat support in the house of representatives. a dozen targeted on oil production, natural gas drilling, things that don't cost money, that will create jobs in the private sector. tax reform, i'm on the ways and means committee as you've mentioned. there's things democrats and republicans agree on that we can
streamline the tax code, doesn't cost money, but will lead to more hiring and job creation. those are the solutions republicans would advocate for. with regards to spending, i would join with the president as i know a lion share of republicans would when it comes to infrastructure spending. we don't believe this targeted spending on infrastructure that he talks about roughly $50 billion is what i'm gathering he's going to propose tonight. we spent $50 billion in the stimulus bill on targeted infrastructure. what the infrastructure community needs is a six-year highway bill. i would like to see the president come forward with a plan how we fund a six-year highway bill. and if he can, as the house has done. >> right. >> we'll get it passed. there's broad support to pass a highway bill, but we need presidential leadership to do it. >> we will end the speculation coming up in 7:38:55 seconds.
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welcome back, everybody. jury selection begins today in the trial against a man charged in the death of pop singing legend michael jackson. the first batch of potential jurors may decide whether to convict former dr. conrad murray of involuntary manslaughter based on how he treated the king of pop during his final days. joining me now is michael jackson's former attorney thomas mezuro. good morning. >> good morning. >> this is the second time in a year the judge now prosecutors
and attorneys for murray have tried to pick a panel to hear this case. as i understand it, they're not going to be sequestering this jury. in your opinion, do you think that will have a larger impact on how this trial will play out? >> no, i don't. i defended michael jackson as his lead criminal defense attorney in 2005 and his child molestation trial. we had more accredited media from around the world than o.j. simpson and scott peterson combined and most of the coverage in my opinion was very negative. i did not want to sequester a jury, we did not have a sequestered jury, and they acquitted him on every single account. >> when we talk about the concerns of this trial becoming a media circus like jackson's own trial where you did represent him, casey anthony certainly recent memory for all of us in florida. how can these jurors remain impartial with the kind of publicity around this case and especially this kind of publicity that's already been given to conrad murray? >> well, i think very often the media underestimates the
integrity and the character of juries in america. you know, the media thought o.j. simpson would be convicted. he was acquitted. they thought robert blake would be convicted. he was acquitted. and they thought casey anthony would be convicted and she was acquitted. if there's something about being a jury, you sit there and take an oath to do what's right, to following the instructions on the law that the judge gives you. you sit there for six to eight hours a day observing and hearing and feeling everything. you're not learning through sound bites, you're learning by being there under oath. it's a very different position to be in. and i have great faith in the integrity of american juries. they don't always get things right because they're human, but they certainly try to. >> when it comes to michael jackson when we talk about these other instances, first his molestation trial, family members came out saying he was innocent. obviously this country has a deep affiliation with the jackson family having grown up with most of them. and the jackson family's been very vocal about calling dr. conrad murray a murderer. you don't think that has any way
to affect a jury that's out there right now listening to any of this coverage? >> well, it could. and the purpose of jury voir dire that starts today to try to weed out jurors that cannot follow instructions. a lot of people think the purpose of what's going on today is to pick an unbias jury, and that's not true. each side wants a biassed jury. the ones they don't want are the ones that are biassed against them. i think the judge is going to instruct these jurors they are going to follow the law strictly given to them. they're to be very independent-minded. they're not to listen to the media. and i think they tend to follow the judge's instructions. and if they violate any of this, they'll be removed from the jury. i have greater faith in american juries than a lot of american pundits. >> thanks for your time. >> thank you for having me. i appreciate it. hiring now. we've got a company that is adding workers in this country. and it hasn't had a layoff in 30 years.
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hi, everybody, welcome back to msnbc, i'm thomas roberts. well, president obama was prepping for one of the biggest speeches for his time during commander in chief, republicans were pointing fingers directly at the white house. >> this is a president so committed to class warfare and so committed to bureaucratic socialism that he can't possibly be effective in jobs. >> we need a president who is going to provide a little bit of leadership in giving us some direction and opening up the opportunities. this president's got to go. this president's a nice guy, he doesn't have a clue how to get this country working again. >> all right. let's grade the evening and bring in our panel.
msnbc contributor karen hunter and robert train. great to see you both this morning. i want to start with the report cards with robert first. who was the big winner? was it perry in your estimation? >> no, i don't think it was perry, i think it was romney. and the reason why is romney kept his cool. romney answered the questions very substantively. he seemed to be presidential. you know, perry seemed to be -- that's why i give romney for the most part a "b" plus. i would give perry a "b" minus. he appeared to be always on the defensive, especially when it came to social security, when it came to his record as governor of texas. he seemed to be a little off. however, he did a good job, but i think romney won the debate. >> and a "b" plus for jon huntsman. >> because he seemed to be the grown-up in the room, he seemed to be the kind of voice of reason, if you will. it's unfortunate that his campaign is not getting a lot of traction right now. because when you look at his positions, he seems to be right down the middle when it comes to
policy positions, gay marriage, when it comes to abortion and stem cell research, and he appears to be mirroring the middle part of the country, if you will. >> plus he got to be on the end there and look down the right at everybody. i like the position he had so he could take everybody on. but karen, you said that romney got an "a"? >> yeah, he's a hard grader, i would hate to be in his class. i didn't have a lot of expectation of mitt romney, quite frankly, because i found him to be quite wooden and stiff, but everything that perry threw at him, he knocked it out of the park. he was strong, he was passionate, something i hadn't seen much. he was passionate. and i think because perry performed so poorly, romney came right to the top as someone very presidential. >> i like the way you used the alphabet as well as the numerical system. >> i mixed it up. >> cain you gave him a nine. >> i'm getting t-shirts, by the way. >> at least you remembered something. santorum you gave a big fat "f."
>> i fell asleep a couple of times when he was talking. i felt bad because i wanted to listen to him. the only time he said something that was really impassion was talking about being an immigrant. other than that, it was a snoozer. >> his post conversation with chris matthews was good. i liked that. let's talk about ron paul, though, because he had colorful comments about the tsa. listen. >> look at the monstrosity we have at the airports. these tsa agents are abusive. sometimes they're accused of all kinds of sexual activities on the way they maul people at the airport. private markets do a good job in protecting much better than this bureaucracy called the tsa. >> all right. so robert, a lot of pundits say they were expecting more from ron paul. i almost expected him to say he wanted to draft legislation to create a time machine and go back to the 1920s because everything was better back then. >> well, i don't know about that. but ron paul reminds me of, you
know, that uncle that you love, that uncle that's on the rocking chair, but there's a reason why he's not let out in public sometimes because it's just, you know -- it was just aie yesteryear. he is very passionate about his ideas, knows what he thinks, but when it comes to trying to apply that to the mainstream, you know, most people are not paying attention. >> i was paying attention. >> i don't want regulation on medicine, on cars -- >> he was the most entertaining of everyone on there. and i couldn't wait for him to say something because i knew he was going to say something off, which is why you watch these things, waiting for that moment. and he delivered. give him a break. >> but karen's got a good point there, but i think the american people don't want to be entertained right now. they want to be informed about the position, want a job, a good-paying job, and if they're not out of work, their uncle's out of work or their nephew or neighbor. >> i don't think anyone
delivered strongly enough on that. >> look who is becoming profe professorial now. other stories making headlines in the news. new pictures from new jersey thanks to tropical storm lee. heavy rain forced already flood-weary new jerseyians to head for higher ground today. along the susquehanna river with downpours and lightning causing more flooding throughout the northeast. and more on a tropical triple threat brewing in the atlantic. listen to this. there's nate, katia, and maria. all are churning and beginning to sweep towards the coastline. but which storm should be the most worrisome. let's go to the weather channel's carl parker who is tracking these storms for us this morning. hey there, carl. >> we have good news about katia, and that is the center of the storm is going to stay offshore and not really affect us. but we will see indirect impacts. right now a category one hurricane moving north at 16 miles an hour. and looks like it'll continue to be a category 1. very high surf and rip current
threat to the northeast coast and right down the coast, in fact. right through the next several days. but then the storm is going to race out and into the north atlantic. could be a big wind storm for the uk come monday and tuesday. the next system that we're watching is maria. this thing has been having trouble. undergoing shear right now. it is likely to be a weaker storm, we think now as it makes its way towards the lesser antilles. could be very heavy rain there in puerto rico. we're always concerned about that. beyond that, we're thinking probably we'll get up to the bahamas and we think recurvature is likely, but don't know where that will occur. that may yet be a threat to the u.s. and finally, we're watching nate, very small storm in the southern part of the gulf now a 50-mile-an-hour storm. the model's completely disagreeing about whether tyke this into mexico or the northern part of the gulf. we've got an awful lot to resolve. back to you. >> a lot to watch. carl parker at the weather channel. thanks. financial worries are leading more and more people to shy away from self-employment. last month 14.5 million people
were self-employed, down more than 2 million from the recent peak in '06. experts say it's a troubling trend as self-employed businesses did a big bulk of the nation's hiring growth before the recession. all right. and as we count down to the president's address on the economy, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says the president needs to focus on liberating the job creators. in hour hiring now series today, we are focusing on a company that is doing well adding jobs despite the economic doom and gloom. scotttrade has more than doubled the workforce in the last five years, hasn't had that layoff since 1980. joining us now is jane wolf, chief administrative officer for scottrade. explain to all of us, no layoffs since 1980. how does scottrade maintain that track record when companies around the country are considerably slashing their workforce. what's the secret? >> well, thomas, it's really been a lot about our 31-year
history of growth and continued growth. we have added more self-directed investors as the markets have changed. we've also added a lot of new products, online banking, zero commission etfs, now servicing advisers, and all of those additions and things have really created our need for talent. >> one thing we're really concerned with here is providing real jobs, real leads to people. tell us about the openings available right now. which positions would be highest priority to the company? >> well, right now, one of our highest priorities is in the i.t. area. we are a technology firm, we provide the great online experience for our clients. so we want to continue to do that and continue to grow our technology. so right now, we're really looking for developers and programmers, web designers, and networking people that can help run our systems. we also have openings in our
headquarters here in st. louis for people to help be the support staff. marketing, compliance, hr, many different areas in that area. we also have location out in denver with secondary business operation center where we're hiring for a broker for a call center there as well as i.t. people in denver. >> when we talk about, jane, real quickly, though because i want to get to the president's job speech tonight. from a business perspective, what do companies in your estimation need to hear right now to flourish and have the confidence to start hiring again? >> well, i think that all of the companies need to hear the president give us a good message tonight. but i think for scottrade, it won't change what we do and how we're growing. so i believe for a lot of companies, this is an important speech. it is to us, but we will continue to grow and to add
jobs. >> jane wulf, thanks for your time. >> thank you so much. if you have a company you'd like to see us cover, please tweet me at thomasaroberts, and we could use your suggestion. real jobs, real leads for everyone in this country. well, after the president's address on jobs, it's time to play some football. we lighten it up. tonight the nfl season opener kicks off with a match-up between the two most recent super bowl champs, the defending champs, green bay packers take on the new orleans saints. winners of the lombardi trophy two seasons ago. both led by their mvp quarterbacks, aaron rodgers, drew brees. i see you've lost the cheese head already. it must be too warm there now, huh? >> reporter: thomas, i decided to give you something a little bit different than chris' show. i'll give you different facts, as well, about the green bay packers fandom.
the average fan spends $312 per season on packers merchandise. they lead the league. aaron rodgers who you mentioned and clay rogers are the top selling jerseys. although we're hearing green bay, which is ridiculous by pro-sports standards in that the stadium is almost as big as the population of green bay, these guys are just so passionate, and it is so much about the economy. and i've got to tell you, the nfl just announcing robust deals coming out of the work stoppage, doing a deal with marriott, with pepsi, with bose. and this morning, announcing a $1.9 billion annual deal with espn to bring monday night football through the 2021 season. i think everyone's ready for football. >> do you think the lockout helped wet the appetite for everyone getting excited for tonight's game, at least?
>> reporter: oh, yeah. the lockout. people have never been more excited about football. i think there's going to be record fantasy football numbers, record ratings. i think people thought they were going to lose it. and they only lost one preseason game. one more thing, i got my number one sign for you. that's the special for you. >> nice. >> reporter: but i also got what's under it. the packers championship ring, which i have borrowed for this hit only, and will be returning it within about a minute and a half or i will lose my head -- >> or lose that finger. that's exclusive bling right there. darren rovell, thank you, sir. your can catch the match-up between the packers and saints tonight at 8:30 p.m. eastern on nbc. we are going to have our own personal memory of september 11th. we all remember where we were. now we're getting a look at how the president and his team handled one of our nation's darkest days. the author of inside the president's bunker shows how it all unfolded in realtime. we're going to talk about that next. my doctor told me calcium
ten years after 9/11, the national expectation of another terror attack is high. according to a new poll, 58% of new yorkers and 49% of voters nationwide think another attack against the u.s. is likely. still, 70% of new york voters and 78% of voters nationwide say it's not stopping them from living their lives fully. and with just three days to go before america commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we're hearing new audio excerpts of some of the most harrowing efforts of that day as they unfolded realtime. >> he's descending really quick too. yeah. >> just dropped 800 feet. >> that's another situation. what kind of a plane is that? can you tell? >> i don't know.
another one just hit the building. >> wow. wow. >> the whole building just came apart. >> holy smokes. all right. i guess you guys are going to be busy. >> well, that haunting audio is just one incredible story out of hundreds that illustrate how everyday americans responded to the attacks from flight attendants to firefighters to people in the towers. and aboard the hijacked planes. but few of us knew what went on inside the corridors of power on that fateful day until now. our next guest has a new book called "24 hours inside the president's bunker." lieutenant colonel robert j. darling of the u.s. marine corps joins me now to talk about that. sir, it's nice to have you with us to talk about this book offering a viewpoint. very few people might have imagined what would been made public. you learned about everything as it unfolded on that day realtime from inside the white house. what is your most vivid memory
of that day from being in the bunker itself? >> first of all, tom, it's great to be with you. you know, there are so many memories of that day, it's hard to pinpoint just one of them. but obviously the most shocking and horrible moment had to be when the second tower fell on the ground at 10:29 that day. we had the president on the line and the vice president said, mr. president, it's our best guess that we have 40,000 dead americans in new york city. >> that has to be something t t that, as you say, is very powerful to be there to witness that and then try to think and drink that in. you talk about several situations in the book. where things were pretty dire, especially in regards to specifics about flight 93. what do you recall and the conv before hearing about that crash? >> you know, flight 93 is just such a surreal moment for me as well. the moment i got into the president's emergency operations center, the bunker under the white house, it was about 9:50 that morning. the vice president's military aide told me to help him out, answer the phones, they're
ringing off the hook. my first phone call i received was from the white house situation room upstairs, when they reported to me that 16 miles south of pittsburgh, we had another hijacked plane. the minute i received that word, i turned to my right and who was standing beside me but vice president cheney, dr. rice, i saw his wife, lynn, their secretary of transportation was there, and just about all the staff members who were from the west wing were now downstairs as i relayed this information to them. the vice president really unprecedentedly merely ordered our f-15s at otis air base airborne to intercept flight 93 to prevent it from reaching its target in washington, d.c. >> i want to talk more about that. you say there were serious communication failures within the presidential chain of command and that the president and vice president were repeatedly cut off from each other. in the book, you say the secretary of defense never even attempted to contact the president during the one hour and 17 minute attack on our
nation. had it not been for the decisive actions of vice president cheney to insert himself into the military chain of command, there would have been no official response to the attacks from the entire executive branch of our government. that's stunning, when people think about that, that in a serious crisis of the nation under attack, that that is what everyone was facing, the fact that the vice president had to insert himself in the military chain of command. >> well, the military chain of command goes from the president of the united states down to the secretary of defense and from there, to the joint chiefs of staff out to the combatant commanders around the world. that's how we prepare. that's what we expect. on 9/11 the secretary of defense didn't respond according to his own testimony to the 9/11 commission report. he didn't respond at 8:46. he didn't leave his office at 9:03. he didn't get up out of his chair until 9:37 after the pentagon was struck by american airlines flight 77, and though
admirable, he went out to save lives but never took the helm as the national secretary of defense. we were looking for him from the white house and vice president cheney then essentially ordered our military into action in the absence of the secretary of defense. >> the book is called "inside the president's bunker." lieutenant colonel robert darling, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure to be with you. >> our special coverage "9/11 america remembers" will follow all the memorial service this weekend. watch them live on msnbc. try this. bayer aspirin? i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. no, this is new bayer advanced aspirin... clinically proven to relieve tough pain twice as fast as before. what, did you invent this or something? well, my team did. i'm dr. eric first, from bayer. wow. look. it has microparticles. it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of pain. better? great! thanks. [ male announcer ] new bayer advanced aspirin. extra strength pain relief. twice as fast. test our fast relief. look out for your coupon in this sunday's papers.
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time now for the flipside, with unemployment stuck at 9.1%, the stakes are high for president obama's jobs speech tonight. but will it have an impact? even as critics admit the president's a great speaker but relying too much on his talents could risk softening their political force. president obama has given at least five big speeches on the economy, not including two state of the unions and his first address to a joint session of congress in early '09. the white house has labeled so many of his speeches major, it
is hard to keep track and when it comes to jump-starting the economy, according to analysis by 24/7 wall street, big economic speeches have rarely accomplished what they set out to do. presidents have laid out their job plans before a joint session seven times since the great depression. each time, the economic outcome fell short. still, harry truman got himself re-elected after pinning the blame on a do nothing congress. even if president obama's plans go nowhere, he could score a political win. we will know coming up tonight. you can see it all right here on msnbc. that's going to do it for me. keep it locked in right here. we will have full coverage of the president's speech at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. craig melvin picks up the hour next. is there anything else? why did you buy my husband a falcon? thanks for the falcon. i didn't buy anyone a falcon. sure, you did. you saved us a lot of money on auto insurance. i used that money to buy a falcon. ergo, you bought me a falcon. i should've got a falcon. most people who switch to state farm save on average about $480. what they do with it, well, that's their business. oh, that explains a lot, actually.
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